New Provo Airport discussing expansion after year of rapid growth
SALT LAKE CITY — It would be easy to think things are pretty slow at the Provo Municipal Airport. There are some days when the terminal is empty for most of the day.
However, Provo Airport manager Brian Torgersen says the brand-new airport, which opened this past summer, is already at capacity.
“You know, if we had a crystal ball back then, that was one of the things, we thought we were overbuilding, to be honest,” Torgersen said.
Since opening in July, Torgersen says more than 300,000 passengers have come through. By the end of this year, it could be close to 800,000.
Torgersen says convenience is a big reason why many people choose to fly out of Provo instead of Salt Lake City.
According to airport research, roughly 30% of the passengers who fly out of Provo come from outside of Utah County.“I mean, you’re steps away from your car to the gate. I mean literally steps away,” he said. “But not only that, we’ve got great products being offered by airlines that, you know, that’s the model. They fit Utah County families perfectly. The low-cost, no-frills kind of thing.”
Allegiant and Breeze are currently the two airlines that fly commercially out of Provo. Torgersen says more airlines, as well as new routes, are being discussed.
Because of that expected future growth, Provo city leaders are already looking to expand the terminal a lot faster than originally thought when this new airport was first designed.
“At the time, really, the questions were, gosh, are we going to fill this thing up?” Torgersen said with a laugh.
City leaders know the answer now. They also know the demand isn’t going away.
“Most of the airports throughout the country have actually declined by substantial amounts, we’ve actually grown 125%,” Torgersen said.
There are currently four gates inside the Provo Airport, which could be expanded to ten gates.
Initial estimates for further expansion are in the $62 million range, and city leaders are looking for federal funding to help with those costs.
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